DRAM shares unfazed by Micron report

TSINGHUA UNIGROUP::TrendForce said that the potential technological partnership indicated China’s determination to improve its own manufacturing technologies

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Sep 06, 2019 - Page 12

Shares of major DRAM chipmakers rallied yesterday, generally unfazed by media reports that China’s Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd (清華紫光) was in talks with Micron Technology Inc over technological partnerships.

Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) shares rose 5.34 percent to NT$76.9 after the company a day earlier increased its forecast for growth in shipments for this quarter, while Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電子) shares climbed 1.12 percent to NT$18.

Micron chief executive officer Sanjay Mehrotra recently visited China, possibly to discuss technological cooperation with Tsinghua Unigroup executives, a move that might undermine the leading positions of Samsung Electronics Co and SK Hynix Inc in the DRAM industry, the English-language Business Korea reported on Wednesday.

Samsung, the world’s largest DRAM chipmaker, had a market share of 45.7 percent in the second quarter, followed by SK Hynix’s 28.7 percent and Micron’s 20.5 percent, data from marker researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) showed.

Speculation over a Micron-Tsinghua Unigroup partnership came after the Chinese company on Tuesday last week said that it had signed an agreement with the Chongqing City Government to establish a research and development center and a wafer fab to produce DRAM chips, with the construction of facilities to start at the end of this year and be completed in 2021.

The deal indicated China’s determination to develop its own memorychip manufacturing technologies to reduce reliance on imports, TrendForce said yesterday.

It also showed that China has stepped up efforts to build its own semiconductor technologies amid the US-China trade dispute and the blacklisting of Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co (福建晉華) by Washington, the researcher said.

Ray Yang (楊瑞臨), an analyst at the Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (產業經濟與趨勢研究中心), said that the massive Chinese market is a magnet for memorychip makers around the world.

“It is understandable that the two companies would be interested in exploring cooperations,” Yang said of Tsinghua Unigroup and Micron.

As Yangtze River Storage Technology Co (長江儲存), a subsidiary of Tsinghua Unigroup, has developed its own technologies to make NAND flash memory chips, DRAM technology would naturally be the company’s next target, he said.

“It is worth watching whether the two companies will work together,” he said.